The effect of audio-visual representations of sine and sawtooth waves on expected chocolate texture

Francisco Barbosa Escobar*, Patricia Andreia Alves da Mota, Signe Lund Mathiesen, Carlos Velasco, Charles Spence, Qian Janice Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review


The oral-somatosensory mouthfeel of foodstuffs is a critical factor driving liking and acceptability. Previous studies have revealed that the use of audiovisual elements in food packaging can affect consumers’ sensory expectations of food. However, research on the crossmodal influence of visual and auditory cues on mouthfeel expectations is scarce. Here, we investigated the relative and interactive effects of visual and auditory representations of sine and sawtooth waves which, according to previous literature, are associated with smoothness and roughness, respectively, on individuals’ expectations concerning the texture of dark chocolate. We hypothesised that the audiovisual representations of sine (sawtooth) waves would increase (decrease) smoothness and creaminess expectations and decrease (increase) firmness expectations. Moreover, we expected to observe additive effects between the audiovisual cues and to find differences in the effects between people who prefer milk vs. dark chocolate.
We conducted a 3 (Visual texture: sine, sawtooth, control) × 3 (Auditory timbre: sine, sawtooth, control) between-participants online experiment (N = 634). Participants were presented with a photograph of a dark chocolate next to its packaging (see Figure 1) and evaluated
expected texture (i.e., firmness, smoothness, creaminess), taste (i.e., sweetness, bitterness), and liking. Participants also indicated whether they generally preferred milk or dark chocolate.
Figure 1. Stimuli used in the study.
After controlling for age and gender, ANCOVA results revealed a significant main effect of visual texture on firmness expectations only for participants who preferred milk over dark chocolate (n = 494), where chocolate with sawtooth wave packaging was expected to be firmer than the other two packagings (see Figure 2).
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateSept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
EventEUROSENSE 2022: A Sense of Earth
: European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research
- Logomo Convention Centre, Turku, Finland
Duration: 13 Sept 202216 Sept 2022
Conference number: 10


ConferenceEUROSENSE 2022: A Sense of Earth
LocationLogomo Convention Centre
Internet address


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